It is a common thing for those who express some interest in using residential solar panels to feel a bit intimidated by the process of obtaining solar power. After all, there are many different kinds of information that a person could need to process.

Even though the research, purchasing, bargaining and maintaining processes can be daunting, there really is no reason to fret.

The use of residential solar panels has become much more common in recent years. This is good news for the potential solar power system owner because it means that he does not have to do everything himself. There are many qualified people who can help out.

But, it still certainly can be a good idea to be educated as a person goes into this process. That way, he will be able to better understand all that is going on about him. Some of the questions a first-time residential solar panels user might have could be:

• How much electricity needs to be captured and generated?

This depends on the size of the home and what the planned use for the system is. A small two-bedroom home, for example, may not need more than a couple of large panels on the roof, especially if the homeowners try to conserve.

On the other hand, those who live in large homes may not be able to produce enough electricity to power their home at all times. Even those who try to conserve still may not be able to collect enough simply because there are only so many hours in the day when the panels can collect the energy.

However, that doesn’t mean that large homes still can’t use the energy they have been able to capture and process each day and also use the energy from the local electrical grid. In fact, this is what many who have large homes do.

• How can I use both solar and fuel-powered energy?

It actually is quite easy. When residential; solar panels are first purchased, the system can either be hooked up to a battery that stores excess energy or it can be pumped into the local electrical grid. The energy that the electric company receives in the grid is “purchased” by them. While most companies don’t actually give money for this energy, they do give credits.

One of the favorite things for people who choose to do this to do is watch their electricity meter actually move backwards as the energy is being pumped into the grid. This process is called net metering and is being done more and more in recent years.

• Is solar energy cheaper than fuel-powered energy?

Yes and no. Solar energy certainly is cheaper in that it comes from the sun. Since people still don’t have to pay for sunlight, the fact of the mater is that solar power is free. That’s the simple answer to the question.

The more complete answer is that using residential solar panels to collect electricity could certainly end up costing a person a lot of money before it starts to save him in the long run. These solar electricity systems can be quite expensive. Even the cheaper systems are likely to cost upwards of $10,000. The more efficient systems could cost tens of thousands of dollars more.

Even though it could take more than a dozen years for a homeowner to see a return on his investment, those who do conserve their energy use while using these systems are much more likely to be pleased with the money they are saving by deciding to switch to solar energy.

The use of residential solar panels is likely to increase even more in coming years. Thanks to government-sponsored rebates and incentives, it is very likely that the growth that these systems are currently seeing will continue for years to come. As a matter of fact, they may some day in the not too distant future become the norm.